This week on the Beacon Podcast, Ben, Taryn and Mike discuss the retirement of Mary Mayhew, the Maine Supreme Court decision on ranked-choice voting and the path forward for the state budget. Ben makes an important point about the broader potential consequences of the legislature ignoring the will of the voters on multiple fronts and the attempts to undo or at least chip away at every one of the policies passed by citizen initiatives last November: As a society, we are in this very dangerous spot where our public institutions, whether media, government, political parties, whatever, have this dangerously low level of credibility. People feel like these systems are rigged, not representing what they want, that the spirit of democracy isn’t really real. There are also troubling signs if you look at public opinion research, with increased desires for authoritarian attitudes, for people who just come and want to get stuff done, these kind of non-democratic values. And what’s driving all of this is people feel like the will of the people is not being adequately represented, that there’s this elite set of folks who just don’t listen to people when they actually vote, who go in and do whatever the heck they want, and that is just critically dangerous for our democracy. This connects directly to conversations we’ve had about Trump and it connects directly, frankly, to how referenda are being interpreted in Maine right now. So, it’s more than ranked-choice voting. We’ve talked about this with minimum wage, I think we’re going to talk about this with the budget as well. Every time that elite leaders just put this division in between what people have expressly said they wanted and what actually happens, it’s not just a matter of policy; you’re eroding this fundamental social compact that is already frayed, dangerously so. I really think people are playing with fire there. Listen to the whole episode for more fun rants like this about the downfall of our republic. Subscribe to the podcast feed right here using your favorite podcasting app or subscribe using iTunes.